WESTBURY, NY – A Long Island awnings company and its owner will pay $252,370 in back wages and damages to nearly three dozen workers whose employers intentionally denied them overtime wages over a three-year period, after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.A review by the department’s Wage and Hour Division of pay practices of Rollup Shutters & Awnings Inc. and owner Murray Braun determined the employers paid 35 employees straight-time rates for all hours worked, including for hours over 40 in a workweek. The employers’ willful effort to avoid paying time and a half for overtime hours deprived the affected workers of $126,185 in back wages. Division investigators also learned the employers did not maintain accurate employee pay records and paid employees their regular hourly wage rates in cash.“Our investigation found that, for three years, Rollup Shutters & Awnings Inc. and owner, Murray Braun, willfully shortchanged 35 employees of their hard-earned overtime wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David An in Westbury, New York. “Federal law protects workers’ rights to be paid fully for all the hours they work. The company and its owner have learned that the consequences for violating these rights are often costly, even more so when we find their violations were intentional.”To resolve its Fair Labor Standards Act violations, Rollup Shutters & Awnings Inc. must pay the back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages and $28,245 in civil money penalties assessed for willfully violating federal law. In addition to its financial obligations, the settlement agreement requires the employers to implement certain procedures to ensure their records are complete and accurate including, but not limited to, providing each employee with a printed statement of daily and weekly hours worked and giving the employee an opportunity to review it for at least two years, and to post information on federal wage laws prominently. Based in Holbrook, Rollup Shutters & Awnings Inc. has manufactured, installed and maintained shutters and awnings for customers in Suffolk and Nassau counties since 1979. The company also has locations in West Hempstead and Huntington Station. Workers and employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division confidentially at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including its search tool to learn if you are owed back wages collected by the division. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.
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